Chronicling the reunion of a folk-rock band you’ve likely never heard of — unless you were living in Boulder, Colo., during the early ’70s — “40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie” transcends the trippy nostalgia to deliver a moving message about the healing power of reconciliation.
An evident labor of love by TV hitmaker Lee Aronsohn, who was attending the University of Colorado during the band Magic Music’s brief heyday, the documentary affectionately charts the “could’ve-been a contender” trajectory of the long-haired hippies with the sweet Crosby, Stills & Nash harmonies.
It isn’t as if the band’s founding members didn’t get any breaks, but they never learned how to play the game after landing a multi-city gig opening for Cat Stevens. The greater exposure led to a recording contract offer, which the guys refused to sign because they didn’t trust the producer’s pointy shoes; a subsequent meeting in Los Angeles was cut short when one of the band members insisted on walking barefoot through the halls of Capitol Records.
Although the group broke up in 1976 without having released an album, Aronsohn adroitly bridges the gap with live performance and demo tracks, culminating in an emotional reunion concert that brings its “People in the country just got to get along” refrain meaningfully close to home.
‘40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie’
Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills